I'm the type of person who acts first and thinks second. Some may call it impulsive, I just call it crazy. Kidding. Kind of. I'm not like this all of the time, but when there's a furry, snuggleable fur critter involved I'm all action and very little talk. This has proven to be true twice in less than 6 months.
When I brought Cash home, or more welcomed him in as he was dropped off, I didn't have to do much aside from scheduled feedings. Phoebe took care of the basics like cleaning, preening, and teaching him to cat. I just provided food and toys, cleaned the litter box, and enjoyed his presence.
Oh, how I love that built-in instinct cats have to use a litter box. Puppies do NOT have that. As I was recently reminded when Cody came home.
I think a small part of me was hoping that Chloe would be to Cody what Phoebe was to Cash; a surrogate parent that taught him the basics. I should have known better though, Chloe is a HUGE DIVA who needs 100% of the attention 100% of the time. The only thing the new guy has picked up from her is growling and while it's the cutest noise ever, it's not at all beneficial. If I had to do it all over again, I would have made sure I had a puppy survival kit put together before Cody came home.
If you're planning to bring home a new puppy, or if you're
crazy impulsive like me, take my word for it and put together a puppy survival kit now. These are the puppy products I'd be lost without.
The most important part of your puppy survival kit is a puppy food. It should be a duh thing, but an alarming number of people just give their new puppy whatever dog food they have on hand. Puppies have different nutritional needs from their adult counterparts. They're growing and usually more active than older dogs, so they need more calories and protein. In a pinch, you can feed them a food labeled as "All life stages".
My current puppy food of choice is Instinct Original Grain Free Puppy Food. It has great reviews and Cody loves it. One of these cans feeds him for two days right now so that's a bonus. I order this from Chewy along with pretty much every other pet purchase I make.
If only puppies were born to use a litter box. Life as a dog mom would be a lot less stressful. Sadly they are not, so the next best thing is Puppy Potty Pads/Training Pads. Since puppies are bound to have an accident here and there while they're learning to go outside to use the bathroom, training pads are a must. There are a ton on the market, but most of them aren't worth the cost to make them, let alone buy them.
I received a pack of KOCHO training pads a little while ago and finally got to put them to use when Cody came to live with us. The first thing I noticed about these pads was how much thicker they are than the typical puppy training pads. They're almost padded and Cody loves to sit on them even when he's not going potty. They are incredibly absorbent and they don't leak like others I've tried. It's annoying to pick up a used pad only to find a puddle underneath. KOCHO pads keep everything in, including the odors!
Cozy Pet Bed
Every night at least 3 out of the 4 fur kids are in the bed with me. During the day at least 1 is wherever I am at any given time. It's great. Mostly. Sometimes, though, I need my lap to myself. Having a cozy pet bed to send them off to really comes in handy.
My other pet beds are quite boring, just flat fluffy beds. When I saw this adorable Frisco covered tent pet bed I couldn't resist buying it. I call this Cody's Yurt and he carries it around pretty much everywhere. It has a removable pad inside to give him a little more room, but he seems to like it in there. Most of our pet beds are communal, meaning whoever lands there naps there. It's not unusual to see 3 fur kids cuddled up in the same bed. This bed, however, only has room for one, maybe two if it was just Cody and Cash. It's small and cozy and just perfect for a small pet. If you have a larger puppy, the bed is available in a large size.
Puppy Pet Steps
A lot of puppies, especially the little ones, have trouble jumping on furniture. For some people, this is a good thing, but I love having my fur babies on the couch, bed, or chair with me. Giving them the freedom to come and go as they want makes it easier for everyone. I found the Zinus Easy Cat & Dog Stairs on Chewy and they have been great.
I really wish I had bought these sooner. They're not only great for puppies but for older pets and those with joint and/or hip problems. Chloe's been using them a lot instead of just jumping up on the couch. It took Cody a little bit to get used to them but now that he has he loves running up and down them.
I like this set of steps mainly because they're soft. Each step is a cushion, meaning that even when Cody tumbles down them the pillowy steps cushion the fall.
The last thing in our Puppy Survival Kit is puppy toys. I have a huge variety of toys available because puppies tend to lose focus quickly. By giving him lots of options he's less likely to start chewing on something he shouldn't like wires, shoes, and furniture.
I keep all of the toys in a basket I got from Target. I bought 6 of these because they're perfect for everything and only $8. They hold a ton of puppy toys. And, as you can see, Cody can easily get to his toys and has a special place where he can play.
The toys vary in size, color, and material. Most of them squeak while a few crinkles. Now, if I can only train him to put them all back when he's done!